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what me worry?
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Gov. Nathan Deal got what he wanted out of the latest version of a campus gun measure that he vetoed last year. But a possible drafting error in the measure could complicate his decision to sign the bill.

The governor nixed the legislation last year legalizing firearms on more places in public college campuses after lawmakers defied his personal request for changes that would make exceptions to the expansion, but said he was willing to reopen the debate as long as they acceded to his demands.

In a late compromise between House and Senate leaders, lawmakers approved a measure that appeared to do just that by barring guns from on-campus child care facilities, faculty and administrative office space, and disciplinary meetings.

That hastily-written deal, though, may have suffered from a grammatical problem. Writing in GeorgiaPol.com, Democratic aide Stefan Turkheimer notes a lack of a comma could cause legal issues.

http://politics.blog.myajc.com/2017...-could-complicate-georgias-campus-carry-bill/
 

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Super Moderator
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Is the Oxford Comma required? I use it, but in my experience most do not. Another name for it is the serial comma. Tom, Dick, and Jane. Tom, Dick and Jane. AP style, the one AJC writers use, does not require its use. General American usage is not to include it.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/33637/best-shots-fired-oxford-comma-wars Best shots fired in the Oxford comma wars.

Con: "The English are rather more careful than we are, and commonly put a comma after the next-to-last member of a series, but otherwise are not too precise to offend a red-blooded American."
H.L. Mencken, who did not use the serial comma himself, implies, in this quote tucked into a supplement to The American Language, that there is something prissy, pedantic, and altogether un-American about the extra comma.
 

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?: "By train, plane and sedan chair, Peter Ustinov retraces a journey made by Mark Twain a century ago. The highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector."
Languagehat dug this gem out of a comment thread on the serial comma. It's from a TV listing in The Times. It supports the use of the Oxford comma, but only because it keeps Mandela from being a dildo collector. However, even the Oxford comma can't keep him from being an 800-year-old demigod. There's only so much a comma can do.
:lol:
 

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GeePeeDoHolic
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This passage stuck with me because of the ex-cop and donuts. :)

Writing With Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing, 2/e, John R. Trimble, Prentice Hall, 2000.
Should you write "apples, peaches and pears" or should you write "apples, peaches, and pears"? Believe it or not, among professional writers, few style questions are more contentious. Journalists, especially newswriters, reject that comma before "and", insisting that it's usually superfluous and wastes space. Most usage experts and editors, meanwhile, defend it ardently. I'll side with the defenders here. Why? Becase a final comma eliminates any ambiguity that would oblige a rereading of the sentence. There's no ambiguity, of course, with so simple a series as "apples, peaches and pears," particularly when it's detached from context; but the more complex the series and its context, the more inevitable the ambiguity. The beauty of the serial comma is that it instantly signals our arrival at the last item. Without it, we might not be able to determine what the writer means -- or might even be seduced into a misreading. Look at this teaser:

The motley prisoners in that cell included an unemployed actor, a murderer, a junkie, a man obsessed with flying saucers, an ex-cop with a craving for donuts and assorted females -- all of them coexisting in surprising harmony.

Are "assorted females" among the prisoners, or are they only on the mind of the ex-cop? We'll never know.

...

So be prudent. Insert that comma as a matter of course.
 

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GeePeeDoHolic
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But, really, why quibble over a comma when you can lean on judges to change meanings of whole words?
 

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Man of Myth and Legend
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Just a Man
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Registered
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why is everyone stressing over a comma?
The the code commission(?) will write the code to suit Deal!
 

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Señor Member
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I don't think this is being thought through very well.
I believe the intention is for "faculty, staff, and administrative"
to modify "offices" and not "rooms where disciplinary proceedings
are conducted", but even if interpreted as the latter, shouldn't
that still cover all the bases, if not actually be more prohibitive?
I think it could be argued that any room could fall under this
category, and therefor be prohibited. I think that would make Deal
more likely to sign the bill, not less. If anything, I think the authors
should have inserted the word "being", ie "rooms where disciplinary
proceedings are being conducted", which would only prohibit carry
at such a time, similar to the problem with carry where court is held.
 

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Super Moderator
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(v) Not apply to faculty, staff, or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted
(v) Not apply to faculty, staff, or administrative offices, or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted
The second one does not make sense. The first one has the comma at the end of a list.

There are two (2) categories in the new subsection (v).

(a) First Category = faculty, staff, or administrative offices

(b) Second Category = rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.​

That's it. It is not one list of four types of offices. It is two categories, offices and a room. The first is three types of offices. The second is one type of room.

That is all.

When you have two things in a list, you do not use a comma. An Oxford comma is inappropriate in a list of only two.

"This or that."

Not, "This, or that."

See the difference?

When the commies took over there were red, white, and blue flags and red banners were all over the street.

Not:
When the commies took over there were red, white, and blue flags, and red banners were all over the street.

The second sentence is not grammatically correct in its use of punctuation. This is not an issue of the comma changing the meaning at all. It is a case of one way being proper and the other way being improper.
 

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Super Moderator
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Yes, Oxford commas matter when it comes to law.

http://now.howstuffworks.com/2017/03/21/oxford-comma-court-case

Google "Oxford Comma legal decision".
But do they matter when it comes to HB 280?

I submit that the case you brought up is an actual list missing a comma. The judge also sided with the construction the law required when there is an ambiguity, in favor of labor. For what it's worth, if there was an ambiguity in HB 480, Georgia judges are supposed to decide ambiguities in favor of the accused, even in gun cases.

But is there an ambiguity in HB 480, subsection (v)?

I don't think so.

I do not think Stefan's argument makes sense at all.
 

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Super Moderator
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I don't think this is being thought through very well.
I believe the intention is for "faculty, staff, and administrative"
to modify "offices" and not "rooms where disciplinary proceedings
are conducted", but even if interpreted as the latter, shouldn't
that still cover all the bases, if not actually be more prohibitive?
I think it could be argued that any room could fall under this
category, and therefor be prohibited. I think that would make Deal
more likely to sign the bill, not less. If anything, I think the authors
should have inserted the word "being", ie "rooms where disciplinary
proceedings are being conducted", which would only prohibit carry
at such a time, similar to the problem with carry where court is held.
I see English is your first language. :wink: I also agree with your addition of the word "being," but alas, I had zero input into writing this stuff. Sounds like a good addition in a non-controversial clean up bill next year.
 

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Under Scrutiny
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Senior Mumbler
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For what it's worth, if there was an ambiguity in HB 480, Georgia judges are supposed to decide ambiguities in favor of the accused, even in gun cases.?
Was their ambiguity in the airport carry law when a judge interpreted against the accused? Was their ambiguity in the public/private property definition of the law when a judge decided against the accused?

Judges will rule how they decide to rule and not many will favor the accused when there is ambiguity in a gun law.
 

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Weapons Law Booklet
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I think the AJC's concern is legitimate.
That liberal rag wants to ban guns from the maximum number of locations.
But here's how I think the language should be interpreted, based on the actual text and punctuation. My rephrasing of it would be:

[the gun ban remains at the following locations]: "offices or rooms (whether faculty room, staff rooms, or administrative rooms) where disciplinary proceedings are conducted."

Thus, the normal use of that room doesn't matter. The name of the room doesn't matter. The legislature is saying WHATEVER KIND OF ROOM IT IS DESIGNATED AS, if it's ALSO used for holding disciplinary hearings, then it's off limits.

THIS BEGS THE QUESTION: Is such a room off limits all the time? What if the teacher's lounge is used for drinking coffee and gossiping about last night's TV show for 199 hours a month, but for ONE hour each month that room and its big table are used for disciplinary hearings?
Is the room off-limits on days when there hasn't been a disciplinary hearing there in weeks and won't be another until next week?

The legislature has provided no guidance on that, so it's up in the air. It can be whatever the school officials, cops, judges, and prosecutors want it to be.
 

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Weapons Law Booklet
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On second thought, given how this bill uses "being used for" language when declaring other rooms off-limits to guns, and that "being used for" terminology is missing from the provision for rooms where disciplinary hearings are conducted, I think it's a 24/7/ 365 ban. There will be no defense in claiming that the room was just a teacher's lounge room on the day that you were found carrying a gun in there. If that room has ever been, or is scheduled to ever be, in the future, the venue of a disciplinary hearing, it's off-limits.

See lines 30 and 33 in the bill for those other "being used for" examples.

http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20172018/170679.pdf
 
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